How Should Virtual Assistants Handle the Difficult Client?

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No matter what you do or how you present yourself, there is always someone who just won't be satisfied with what you do.  This may not have anything to do with your services or how you approach the job.  Often clients are dissatisfied when there is a misunderstanding of your job description. Being prepared in advance can prevent many problems; however, you want to make sure you have ways to handle the clients that are hard to please.

The best way to handle your more difficult clients is to have your policies and contracts in place before you begin work. Be prepared for the worst while expecting the best is a good approach to your virtual assistant business. Make sure your contractsand statements for the work that you are doing have clauses about what is acceptable and what your terms and policies are relating to the work that you do. Be sure your client has an understanding of your policies and a clear expectation of the services you are going to provide

You can also prevent many problems with your clients by making sure you keep the lines of communication open.  This starts with your initial consultation where you gather as much information as possible about their business and what type of help they are looking for. While working for your client, be sure they know the best way to contact you and the times you will be available. It's a good idea to have scheduled time, by phone or other method, where you communicate with your client, answer any questions that may arise, and give them a progress report on the work you have done.

Sometimes in spite of your best efforts, a client may still be unhappy with your services. You will want to do everything you can to have a happy customer who will spread positive words about you, but that's not always possible. Be sure you have specific clauses in your contracts that draw the line on how much work you will or will not do to satisfy a client.  While you may want to put in some extra time and go that extra mile, be sure that you do get paid for the services you provide.  If the situation has become impossible, it's okay to say that you can longer work with the client. If you know another virtual professional you think may be better able to provide what they are wanting, refer your client to the other professional and let them go. Sometimes a difficult client will realize later on that it was not necessarily your services that were lacking. Other times it's simply a lack of compatibility between your personality and your client's. 

As a business owner you need to do everything you can to protect your reputation and keep your clients happy, yet keep in mind there are some clients that will be difficult for any virtual assistant to work with. In these cases you need to decide if it is worth your time and stress to continue to work with them, or are you better off looking for other clients that will make your business more enjoyable.

Difficult clients come in a variety of types and after you have been working as a virtual assistant for a while you will get better at recognizing these difficult types and avoiding them. By having written policies in place, conducting an initial client assessment and maintaining good communication with your client, you can prevent many of the challenges some clients can bring.

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Jan Harris has 1 articles online

Jan Harris is a veteran administrative professional with over 20 years of experience and currently works at home as a Virtual Assistant. She has a passion for this business and wants to help others interested in pursuing this career. Visit her site for free information on the Virtual Assistant Profession

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How Should Virtual Assistants Handle the Difficult Client?

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This article was published on 2010/03/27